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Friday
Mar082013

We Are Free and We Are Slaves

I posted at Out of the Ordinary this morning, the last post in the series on redemption. 

As redeemed people we are both freedmen and slaves—Christ’s slaves. We are bought with a price, so we should remain free; we are bought with a price, so we belong to God and should serve him.

Read all of Redemption: How Does Redemption Change Things for Us?

Thursday
Mar072013

Round the Sphere Again: Scripture

On the Canon
Michael J. Kruger (Canon Fodder) teases out the implications of this fact about the New Testament: “Some NT writers quote other NT writers as scripture.” From 2 Peter 3:15-16 and 1 Tim 5:18 we can conclude that:

  • There were already collections of Paul’s letters that both Peter and his audience knew about.
  • Peter would probably have expected his own letters to be received as Scripture.
  • Apostolic letters had a scriptural status in early Christianity.
  • The New Testament canon “was not a later ecclesiastical development, but something early and innate to the early Christian faith.”

On Application
John Piper says our goal in reading the Bible is to be amazed by God, not to come away with a list of things to do (Ask Pastor John).

Wednesday
Mar062013

Purposes of Christ's Death: John 3:16-17

Last week’s post examining the purpose statements for the death of Christ given in scripture was supposed to be the last, the one with the purpose statement that summed up all the other purpose statements. But I discovered that in my reposting of the old posts, I’d skipped three that I wanted to include. Here is one of them, late and out of order.

What might be the most familiar verse in the Bible contains a purpose statement for the death of Christ. So does the verse that follows it.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. [17] For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17 ESV)

The purpose statement in the verse 16 is obvious: “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” God sent his son into the world so that all who believe on him will have eternal life instead of the condemnation due them because of of their sin. This is the way God loved the world: He provided a way, through the death of His own son, for anyone who believes to be given eternal life instead of the eternal judgment to which they are already sentenced. (see verse 18).

Verse 17 gives us two statements about the purpose of Christ’s death. First it tells us something that was not God’s purpose in sending his son. Christ didn’t come to condemn the world, at least not in this first advent, when he came to die. 

He came, rather, for the purpose of saving the world. He accomplished this by providing the means for all believers—not only Jews, but Gentiles, too—to have eternal life rather than condemnation. 

God intended for Christ’s death to provide a way for everyone who believes in Him to have eternal life instead of eternal judgment, and this way, for him to save the world.